A Chinese Agency Might Have Inadvertently Confirmed A Secret Long-Range Nuclear Missile
China has admitted to owning a new ballistic missile that can deliver several nuclear warheads across continents, including to the U.S.
The Chinese administration had earlier denied owning the missile Dongfeng-41, or DF-41, which has a range of nearly 7,500 miles, making the intercontinental ballistic missile one of the most potent in the world, according to Agence France-Presse, or AFP. China had tested the DF-41 in 2012 and said that it was not targeting any country by testing it. In January, it had also tested a hypersonic missile-delivery vehicle designed to travel faster than the speed of sound and repeated that it was not targeted at any country.
The original post on the development was deleted from the Global Times, a state-run news agency, but the story reportedly quoted a military analyst as saying: “As the US continues to strengthen its missile defense system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend,” according to AFP.
While China’s previous long-range missile -- the DF-5A -- that could carry a single warhead over a distance of 7,456 miles, was tested in 1971, its new missile comes at a time when relationships between the U.S. and China are at a new low. China is currently second only to the U.S. in terms of defense spending.
The countries recently exchanged accusations about snooping on each other's government networks. China also warned the U.S. not to interfere in its affairs regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Last month, Chinese military officials had stated that the U.S. was making "strategic mistakes" and was paving the way to making China its "enemy" after the U.S. blamed Beijing in May of "destabilizing" the South China Sea region.